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Cambridge Analytica deceived more than 250,000 Facebook users by falsely telling them the political ad firm would not collect any personal information, the Federal Trade Commission says.
In an opinion released Friday, the FTC said app developer Aleksandr Kogan worked with Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix to enable Kogan’s research app to collect Facebook data from users and, subsequently, their friends.
The app then falsely told users it would not collect their data before gaining information on user IDs connecting individuals to their profiles, said the agency. The data was then used for voter profiling and targeting. Overall, the FTC said the app got data from 50 million to 65 million “friends” of the original 250,000 or more.
In 2018, Facebook admitted to learning Cambridge Analytica had gained unauthorized access to data on 87 million Facebook users. The firm announced in May 2018 it was closing its doors.
The incident raised red flags over how well tech companies like Facebook secure users’ personal data. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in April of last year to explain how the social network would protect users from similar breaches and foreign meddling during U.S. elections.
In July 2019, Facebook agreed to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine as part of a settlement with the FTC after the agency’s year-long investigation prompted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal,
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